FARNWORTH Social Circle and Horwich got the Axford Indoor Cricket Tournament of to an exciting start on Sunday.

Social Circle were grateful for a mean final over from Paul Grundy when they beat last summer’s all-conquering Greenmount side by nine runs in the annual six-a-side competition at Bolton School before Horwich’s bowling attack laid the foundation for a four-wicket victory over Astley Bridge.

Matthew Leach top-scored with 25 as Circle posted a hefty 133-3 – all three wickets falling to run-outs.

Greenmount made a fist of the run chase with Dave Willetts (31no) and Simon Woolford (25) keeping the scoreboard ticking over.

But when they needed a big finish – 12 off the final over – they were frustrated by Grundy, who conceded just three to finish with figures of 2- 13 from his three overs.

Horwich duo Andy Taylor (1- 6) and Jonty Settle (2-16) were largely responsible for restricting Astley Bridge to 67 from their 12 overs – Krishnan Patel’s unbeaten 23 the standout score.

Phil Cavill (25no) and Chris Brownlow (20no) steered Horwich to 69-2 – Chris McGuinness being the pick of the Bridge bowlers with 2-16.

Westhoughton joined Social Circle and Horwich into the second round when they beat Walkden by default.

Sunday’s fixtures 11am: Eagley v Tonge, 12.15pm: Egerton v Little Lever, 1.30pm: Farnworth v Bradshaw